Bangkok (April 8 - April 9)
I'm in Thailand! And I'm with Des!
After visiting a friend in Germany for a few days, Des flew to Singapore and then was supposed to fly to Kuala Lumpur to meet me so that we could catch a flight to Bangkok. Flights, however, were delayed and she missed connections. But Singapore Air is amazing and flew Des to Bangkok instead of Kuala Lumpur. She only arrived about 30 minutes after me. Her luggage was even on the very same carousel. It's was wonderful how well everything worked out. Plus, had she met me in Kuala Lumpur I probably never would have met Martyn.
"Is seating free?" But I heard, "Are these seats three?" Um yes, there were 3 seats. What a dumb question. Apparently I just can't understand a British accent. And that's how I met Martyn. He sat with me on the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok. He shared a Kit-Kat and Ribena with me (Ribena is probably one of the best drinks in Malayasia - it's black currant sugar water). And he talked to me for a solid 2 hours. We then got our bags and sat together waiting for Des. Martyn had been to Bangkok before and gave me loads of information on where to stay and what to do. After waiting for a bit, I told Martyn he was more than welcome to hang out with Des and me while we were in Bangkok. It came out rather arrogant. But we later proved that it was more than a priviledge to hang out with us. And Martyn, we were ecstatic that you joined us.
Bangkok is crazy. But not as crazy and crowded as I expected. Martyn, Des, and I got rooms in a place one street away from Khao San Road. Khao San is full of white people (farang), clothing vendors, food stalls, 7-11s, and bars where they serve "very strong drinks and don't check ID." The first thing we did was get food. We all three got different colored curries and then shared everything. Wonderful. Des and I then walked around on our own, part of which was spent trying to call her parents and see if they could find Des' return tickets that she accidentally left in Pittsburgh. Not a very useful place for tickets to be when you're on the other side of the world. We then made our way back to Khao San and tried some of the well advertised "very strong drinks." And guess what? They didn't even check our ID. Drinks were small and we went across the street for the next round where they had buy one get one free buckets of mixed drinks.
Des and I were finishing our buckets when Martyn came to join us. We then ordered 2 more buckets, which we enjoyed while being harassed by street vendors. Very nice street vendors, though, with awesome hats, wooden frogs, fake tattoo sleeves (Megan I ALMOST bought you one), and a pen light that projected an image of a naked woman (I'm not sure why that street vendor relentlessly tried to sell that light to Des and me. I mean I'm not going to pay money for something when I can just look in the mirror). My favorite though was a little girl, beautiful and cheeky. She was selling roses, and after offering her flowers to us a few times, Des and I each bought one. In return she took pictures with us, kissed all of us on the cheeks, and did a trick for Des with a string and plastic ring.
4 buckets down and we headed to a bar where we could dance. The three of us immediately started dancing, which quickly progressed to dancing on a large table. We were soaked and covered in black soot when we left the bar - Martyn and I thought it was a good idea to drink some water and pour the rest over our and other people's heads. It was a good idea. Martyn came and hung out with us in our room until about 5AM. We told him all about Penn State and I think we really made a fan out of him. He even dreamed of being at Beaver Stadium for a football game that night.
The next day, Des and I hired a tuk-tuk. For about $2 USD he drove us to 3 temples and a few different shops - all together about 3 hours. The Buddhist temples were beautiful; the buildings are all decorately incredibly intricately and ornately. After temple hopping, we grabbed a quick dinner and went back to our hotel to get our bags, say goodbye to Martyn, and catch a taxi to the Bangkok airport. As we walked out of the hotel entrance and toward the cab, Martyn called, "We are.."
"Oh my god, that really works...."